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Pythagorantheta t1_iztcfjw wrote

there are certain sequences or portions of a chromosome that for reasons we still are trying to understand, are more susceptible to mutation, or damage. For example the Brca1 gene is susceptible to mutation to cause breast cancer


animalgames OP t1_iztkmk4 wrote

Oh, huh. The BRCA1 gene doesn't always mutate in a similar way, does it? What I mean is, if the cancers caused by BRCA1 aren't all formed by the same mutations and subsequently behave the same way. I've definitely heard that every cancer is unique to the individual, so maybe I'm working under the wrong assumption that everyone with BRCA1 related cancers has the "same" type of cancer (all equally aggressive, all immune/responsive to the same treatments, etc).


Pythagorantheta t1_izu7jg7 wrote

not an oncologist, but there are only so many nucleotides in that gene. yes all cancer is personal but they all have similarities. p53 for example, is often inactivated; it is the gene that makes cancer cells suicide. no single mutation causes cancer, it is a combinations of them. in short, our DNA gets mutated daily no matter what we do and if we live long enough cancer will kill us, but some regions are more susceptible and other have no effect (called silent mutations)


kjaxz8 t1_izxltqk wrote

There are many different types of mutations in the BRCA1 gene. And having the mutation just makes you more susceptible to cancer so even within the same family with same mutation what type of cancer you get can be different since cancer is at its core multifactorial.

I think a better example of this is Achondroplasia caused by a mutation in the FGFR3 gene there are like two very specific mutations that cause almost all of these cases which are usually random and not inherited.

Edit: check out this article about mutation hot spots